Solutions Driven

How to Improve Candidate Engagement During the Hiring Process and Stop Being Ghosted

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A new client recently said to us, “When I worked with X (another recruiter), I had a lot of candidates drop out towards the end of the process. What can you do to solve that?” 

We spoke about our processes, our set timescales, and how we manage candidate engagement. But then we spoke about what the client could do to boost candidate engagement stop it happening. 

Because sometimes, urgent business needs get in the way of hiring. A hiring manager begins a search and their criteria changes.

The candidate isn’t entirely sure what the interview process will look like. Or they don’t feel like there’s enough enthusiasm for their role from the business – poor candidate experience.

Clearly Define Why You’re Hiring

It’s common for candidate criteria to change during the recruitment process.

Business needs can change in between the recruitment process and experienced recruiters are used to it. But, it can lengthen the hiring process and frustrate qualified candidates who were previously engaged. 

Candidate engagement

The goal is to boost candidate engagement. When the above happens, it does the exact opposite. This creates a negative candidate experience.

Aligning With The Team

It’s why we have an in-depth call with the Hiring Manager and key stakeholders for every role before we start the hiring process, figuring out why the business is hiring for this role, how it might develop in future, and how they can future-proof this hire. 

When a business defines the reason it needs this role filled, it can often change their requirements.

If it’s a job in AI or an emerging industry, specific experience might not matter as much as adaptability and enthusiasm for learning new things.

It’s important to define these as early as possible in the hiring process so we can build a strong candidate engagement strategy and improve candidate engagement.

Candidates Like to Be Sold To 

Through decades of hiring, we’ve found that every candidate in the talent pool is, to some degree, passive, whether they’re actively job hunting or not. That makes good candidate experience and engagement very important in the recruitment process.

This means they want to be sold the job by the hiring manager or recruitment team. The candidate wants to know what the company they’re potentially joining is like and what the interview process looks like. 

Your Employee Value Proposition

For companies, that means working on improving their EVP and if they’re using a recruitment partner, ensuring they know as much about the businesses’ offering for employees as the hiring manager does. A recruitment partner who embodies your company brand is a must.

Make It or Break It

Your EVP can either make or break your recruitment process. It can either play a big role to engage candidates or shoo them away. EVP plays a big role in your recruitment process and candidate engagement. It’s important that you know how to leverage it.

Long Interview Processes Turn Candidates Off 

Or, more accurately, uncertain interview processes turn candidates off. 

A 2019 survey by Indeed showed 13% of job seekers ghosted a business because there wasn’t enough engagement with the recruiter or Hiring Manager. 

Candidate engagement
Defining Timescales

 At Solutions Driven, one of the first things we do when we take on a new job is to define timescales with our client. That has the obvious benefit of the business being sure their hire will be delivered on time and the recruitment process won’t be dragged on.

It also allows us to communicate effectively with the candidate, letting them know how many steps the process takes and how long it’s expected to go on for.

Our Rule of Thumb

Obviously if it’s a more senior role, the interview process can take some time, but our rule of thumb is four interviews are ideal, max five, with interview stages over 5/6 weeks. 

This way, candidates stay engaged and it gives the employers enough time to get to know them well enough to make a decision. A positive candidate experience, and a satisfied and confident client. A win-win situation.

Aftercare is Important 

If you decide to hire a candidate, it’s important that you make them feel really wanted. (After all, job-seekers like to feel sold to.)

We encourage our clients to set up a call after making the offer to allow the candidate to ask any remaining questions and to cement how much the business wants them to become part of the team. This also promotes a continuous candidate engagement.

Our 6F Methodology

At Solutions Driven, effective candidate engagement strategies work alongside our 6F methodology, where we ensure we engage candidates that are right for a role and a company by looking at their compatibility in Fit, Freedom, Family, Fulfilment, Fortune and Future. 

When A Candidate Doesn’t Make The Cut

If the candidate doesn’t make the final cut, that doesn’t mean you want to sever all ties with them. After all, while they might not be right right now, they may be perfect for another role or at a later date – candidate re-engagement.

Candidate engagement

Providing timely feedback on their strengths and weaknesses, and any concerns will ensure the candidate leaves the recruiting process on good terms. Even though they did not get the job but the recruitment journey and candidate experience was definitely one for the books.


It helps protect how your EVP is seen by other job seekers because 59% of job seekers who have a bad experience will tell others not to apply for a role in the business.

Word of mouth is one of the highest and most effective forms of marketing. And it’s free! Now it’s just up to you how to make use of it. This is when an effective candidate engagement strategy also plays a crucial role.

Recruiting success doesn’t simply just end with a candidate getting the right job and the client getting the right candidate. It also means keeping relationships with candidates at best whether they make it or not.

Getting the perfect hire, all while giving all of the other candidates an equally great candidate experience is what makes recruitment processes a total success.

Obviously, none of these steps can guarantee that great and quality candidates won’t drop out. In five or six weeks, great people will have other offers, no matter how engaged they are with your business. Not to mention counteroffers.

Finding The Balance

The key is to find the balance between getting enough information on your candidates to make an informed decision, while still checking in with them to ensure they feel wanted and “sold to”. 

When you increase candidate engagement, both you and the candidate are updated whether both of you are still on the same boat.

Double The Time And Effort

Most hiring managers don’t have time for that. Engaging with potential candidates is one thing but keeping them engaged is a different story.

Timely feedbacks, constant check-ins, updates, increased touch points, candidate engagement levels – all these take extra time and effort. But all these also make a great and effective candidate experience for both active and passive candidates.

It’s why, if you want to get the best person for your role, it’s worth bringing in a recruitment expert. They’ll help you define your offering, streamline your hiring process, and keep candidates engaged.

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